A hectic daily schedule that never seems to slow down can take a toll on your body. With endless responsibilities and not enough hours in the day, many of us often feel rundown. Because sugary, caffeinated snacks and beverages are often right at our fingertips, it’s easy to overlook taking care of our bodies in favor of quick energy boosts that can help get us through the day.
But those energy fixes are unhealthy and short-lived. Here are some tips that will make you feel healthfully energized every day.
Eat Right. When we eat healthy foods that supply our bodies with the nutrients they need, we don’t necessarily feel a noticeable burst of energy. Instead, we will feel better and more energized overall. A diet filled with nutrient-dense, low-caloric foods will supply your body with the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals it needs to increase vitality.
The processed foods many Americans eat contain refined sugars, oil, and salt that harm the body and are deficient in the antioxidant nutrients we need. It’s no wonder many of us struggle with fatigue. Some of the healthiest foods that can make us feel our best every day are: leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, nuts, and seeds.
Hydrate. The body is comprised mostly of water, and we cannot live without it. When you are mildly dehydrated your blood thickens, forcing the heart to pump harder and causing fatigue. According to this study, dehydrated individuals can experience “increased fatigue, altered thermoregulatory capability, reduced motivation, and increased perceived effort,” along with impaired “performance on tasks such as short-term memory, perceptual discrimination, arithmetic ability, visuomotor tracking, and psychomotor skills.” The next time you reach for a cup of coffee, go for a glass of water instead!
Limit Caffeine. Some of us may be convinced we can’t survive the morning without a cup of coffee. When we start to feel tired throughout the day, we reach for another cup. And then another.
While caffeinated beverages may provide a temporary energy boost, they are a stimulant we can easily become addicted to. Withdrawal symptoms can promote headaches and false hunger cravings, causing some to eat more frequently. Drinking coffee throughout the day gives us the perception that we can get by on less sleep, which causes a vicious cycle. One study found that drinking caffeine 6 hours before bedtime “more than doubled the reported time taken to fall asleep” and “reduced sleep by more than 1 hour.”
This sleep loss combined over multiple nights can be detrimental to your day-to-day energy levels.
Get Enough Sleep. Because so many are addicted to caffeine that interferes with our natural sleep/wake cycle, some of us may have forgotten what being truly rested feels like. The more tired you are, the more caffeine you drink, but the more caffeine you drink, the harder it is to fall asleep and stay asleep. Getting a proper amount of sleep helps regulate mood, improves learning and memory functions, and increases daily productivity. Value your sleep--you’ll thank yourself the next day!
Exercise. Immobility is a huge contributor fatigue, obesity, and chronic disease, so while many of us sit at a desk for a majority of the workday, it’s important to be active. Regular exercise is known to reduce stress, improve sleep, and repel depression. It will make you feel more alert and energized daily, whether you go for a long walk or jog, swim laps, do yoga, or lift weights.
How do you stay healthfully energized every day? Share with us below!